Friday, September 30, 2011

Where Do We Go

Dreams are mysterious and magic. They can have a lingering emotional impact. Older, wiser societies than ours have given far more credence to dreams. Our science dismisses dreams as nothing more than artifacts of the mind. Yet, we all know someone warned in a dream, or followed advice given in a dream, or received words of encouragement from a departed loved one through a dream.

Amazingly enough, even here in Backwater, Kansas the universe provides the opportunity for study, personal evolution, enlightenment. Right down the road resides a meditation teacher, an educated woman living a disciplined, principled life. She is impressive. I have been learning meditation from her. There is an old saying: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

"Buddhist contemplatives have researched the three dimensions of consciousness: the pysche; the substrate; and the primordial consciousness. Each can be tested through experience. The psyche, the realm of the mind, includes the entire range of conscious and unconscious mental processes conditioned by the brain and its interaction with the environment. The psyche emerges from an underlying dimension known as the substrate consciousness, an individual continuum of consciousness that continues from lifetime to lifetime. It carries memories and other personal character traits.

The third dimension of awareness is known in Buddhism as primordial consciousness. It transcends the conceptual constructs of space and time, subject and object, mind and matter and even existence and nonexistence. The primordial consciousness is our buddha-nature. The Buddhists give three reasons why the buddha-nature is present in all beings. The dharmakayam, the consciousness of all the buddhas, pervades the whole of space and time. In the ultimate nature of reality there is no distinction between enlightened and unenlightened beings. All have the capacity to achieve the enlightenment of the buddha." 1

I saw my mother in a dream last night. I have dreamt of her before, but last night was different. She was sitting beside a dear friend of mine who is in the midst of very difficult times. As I approached my friend, I saw my mother beside her, waiting for me. It has been many years since my mother and I were face to face. She was healthy and as happy to see me as I was to see her. This morning her face is as clear in my mind as if I had just seen her in person, which is apparently what happened. If I had thought to ask her anything, she would have answered me. We were just happy with the reunion.

1. from 'Genuine Happiness' by Alan Wallace - Part Four,The Three Dimensions of Consciousness, Exploring the Nature of Consciousness, Chapter 11 Bodhichitta: The Spirit of Awakening, page 157

No comments: